Avoiding Relegation the Sole Aim for Newcastle United in 2018/19

Posted on September 13th, 2018 | No Comments |

Mike Ashley and Lee Charnley.
Laurel and Hardy – The relegation specialists.
The Premier League is not only the most popular football league on the planet, but it is also the most lucrative. With television rights and top-flight status offering millions of pounds on a yearly basis, every club wants to avoid relegation. But for a club like Newcastle it is vital to stay in the Premier League, Magpies fans cannot cope with more relegation heartache.

Let’s get one thing straight: Rafa Benitez is a top class football manager. The Spaniard has done a tremendous job with the tools at his disposal and Newcastle supporters recognise his efforts. Benitez is not, nor has he ever been the problem. If the Magpies go down it will be down to a lack of financial support from the club’s hierarchy.

Some fans criticised Benitez for his squad selection against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, but you can hardly blame him. The Magpies are stretched as it is and Premier League survival is the top priority. Yes, supporters would love a cup final at Wembley Stadium but is it worth the risk of sacrificing Premier League status? Obviously not.

Newcastle’s record in cup competitions since Mike Ashley took over the club is no fluke. The Magpies have not been in a position to seriously push for silverware – and the League Cup is already out of the question in 2018/19 after losing to Forest. Avoiding the drop will put Rafa in a strong position ahead of next summer’s transfer window; it could be standoff time between the Spaniard and the board.

Newcastle are languishing in the bottom three and punters can back the Magpies at 3/1 in the latest football betting odds to suffer relegation down to the Championship. On paper, this squad should be strong enough to avoid the drop and Benitez will use all of his previous experience in a bid to lead Newcastle to safety – Keeping Rafa happy should be the board’s top priority.

Heavy spending in the transfer window is now an absolute must for any top-flight side but it has been 13 years since Newcastle broke their transfer record. Ashley has forked out £10 million or more just seven times since taking over at St James’ Park – if the Magpies suffer relegation, it will be down to nothing but his incompetence and refusal to act in the transfer market.

Plenty of punters will fancy Newcastle to turn things around, and rightly so. On paper, this Newcastle side is limited but there are players with real quality. Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Joselu are all capable of producing match-winning performances and that quality could prove decisive throughout the season.

Rafa Benitez’s side have had a tough start to the 2018/19 campaign and it would be foolish to hit the panic button just yet. The Magpies gave a decent account of themselves against Manchester City and there is reason to be optimistic as we enter the international break. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Newcastle end their run without a win in the coming weeks and the Magpies will still be quietly confident of avoiding relegation.

NUFCBlog Author: Frankly Various Frankly Various has written 67 articles on this blog.

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